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Boeing awarded $87.5 million for work on T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer

Boeing awarded $87.5 million for work on T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer

Boeing was awarded two contracts worth $87.5 million to development, upgrades and support of the U.S. Marines’ T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer aircraft. The contracts for the two-seat trainer version of the AV-8B Harrier aircraft include engineering and avionics upgrades, according to U.S. Department of Defense. The contracts, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, includes to provide engineering and integrated logistics support to maintain the T/AV-8B Harrier during the aircraft’s post-production support phase.

T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer

T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer


Seventy-five percent of the work will be performed at the company’s plant in St. Louis with 11 percent in Warton, Lancashire, United Kingdom; 10 percent in Cherry Point, N.C.; 3 percent in Yuma, Ariz. and 1 percent in Philadelphia. Work is expected to be completed in December 2023. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. Work on another contract, worth $16.2 million, will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be completed in March 2024. The contract is for system configuration set updates, avionics and weapons integration, as well as avionics obsolescence mitigation. Naval fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2 million will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer

T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer


T/AV-8B Harrier II is a two-seat trainer version of the AV-8B Harrier aircraft. AV-8B Harrier II is a ground-attack aircraft that constitutes the second generation of the Harrier Jump Jet family. Capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), the aircraft was designed in the late 1970s as an Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational V/STOL aircraft. McDonnell Douglas, which was later acquired by Boeing, first produced the AV-8B aircraft in 1981. A Harrier II Plus initially flew in 1992. Production ended in 2003. In 2007, Boeing signed a $258.5 million performance-based logistics contract to support AV-8B Harriers operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, Italy and Spain. The fixed-wing plane can take off vertically, as well as zoom out of the range of enemy fire extremely quickly, making “it one of the most maneuverable combat aircraft in service,” according to Boeing.

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Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Marks Three Decades of Transforming Military Aviation

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Marks Three Decades of Transforming Military Aviation

During the thirty years since the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey first flew, the tiltrotor aircraft, built by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc.company, and Boeing, has fundamentally changed how the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force operate in combat and support humanitarian operations. The V-22 has become one of the most in-demand and reliable aircraft in military service with its unique vertical maneuverability combined with the speed, range and fuel efficiency of a fixed-wing airplane. So far, more than 375 V-22 aircraft have accumulated more than 450,000 flight hours across a spectrum of missions. Soon, the U.S. Navy will begin using a new V-22 variant to deliver personnel and cargo to its aircraft carriers, becoming the latest operator leveraging the aircraft’s unique capabilities. The failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission in 1980 demonstrated to the United States military a need for “a new type of aircraft, that could not only take off and land vertically but also could carry combat troops, and do so at speed.” The U.S. Department of Defense began the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program in 1981, under U.S. Army leadership.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey


The defining mission of the Marine Corps has been to perform an amphibious landing, and they were particularly interested in the JVX program. They realized that a concentrated strike force was vulnerable to a single nuclear weapon, airborne solutions with good speed and range allowed for significant dispersal; and their CH-46s were wearing out; without replacement, the threat of a merger between the Marine Corps and the Army lingered, similar to President Truman’s proposal following World War II. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were given the lead in 1983. The JVX combined requirements from the U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Navy. A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in December 1982 for preliminary design work. Interest was expressed by Aérospatiale, Bell Helicopter, Boeing Vertol, Grumman, Lockheed, and Westland. Contractors were encouraged to form teams. Bell partnered with Boeing Vertol to submit a proposal for an enlarged version of the Bell XV-15 prototype on 17 February 1983. Being the only proposal received, a preliminary design contract was awarded on 26 April 1983.
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey


The JVX aircraft was designated V-22 Osprey on 15 January 1985; by that March, the first six prototypes were being produced, and Boeing Vertol was expanded to deal with the project workload. The first V-22 was rolled out with significant media attention in May 1988. The first of six MV-22 prototypes first flew on 19 March 1989 in the helicopter mode, and on 14 September 1989 in fixed-wing mode. This redesigned version became the V-22B model. V-22 flights resumed in June 1993 after safety improvements were incorporated in the prototypes. Bell Boeing was awarded a contract for the engineering manufacturing development (EMD) phase in June 1994. The prototypes also received changes to better match the B-model configuration. Flight testing at the stage focused on expanding the flight envelope, measuring flight loads, and supporting the EMD redesign. This and further flight testing with the early V-22s continued into 1997. Flight testing of four full-scale development V-22s began in early 1997 when the first pre-production V-22 was delivered to the Naval Air Warfare Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey


On 28 September 2005, the Pentagon formally approved full-rate production for the V-22, with planned rate increase from 11 a year to between 24 and 48 a year by 2012. Of the 458 total planned, 360 are for the U.S. Marine Corps, 50 for the Air Force, and 48 for the Navy at an average cost of $110 million per aircraft, including development costs. The V-22 had an incremental flyaway cost of $67 million per aircraft in 2008, The U.S. Navy had hoped to shave about $10 million off that cost after a five-year production contract in 2013. The cost for each CV-22 was $73 million in the FY 2014 budget. On 12 June 2013, the U.S. DoD awarded a $4.9 billion contract to Bell and Boeing for 99 V-22s in production Lots 17 and 18, including 92 MV-22s for the Marine Corps. Work is expected to be completed in September 2019. A provision gives NAVAIR the option to order 23 more Ospreys. The combined cost of the June 2013 contract and other associated contracts for the order totaled $6.5 billion. In 2015, Bell-Boeing set up the V-22 Readiness Operations Center (VROC) at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania to gather information from each aircraft to improve fleet performance in a similar manner as the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS).

RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod

RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod

The Litening AN/AAQ-28(V) targeting pod is a combat-proven multi-spectral airborne targeting pod system currently operational with a wide variety of aircraft worldwide. The research and development of the LITENING was first undertaken by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Missiles Division in Israel, with subsequent completion of LITENING I for use in the Israeli Air Force. Litening presents pilots with real-time, Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) and TV HD color camera imagery. The high resolution sensors and the electro optical effective design enables pilots to operate the pod at standoff ranges reliably identify the targets and consequently avoid collateral damage. It is fully operational 24 hours a day and in adverse weather conditions.

RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod

RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod


The Litening Pod is an integrated targeting pod that mounts externally to the aircraft. The targeting pod contains a high-resolution, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor that displays an infrared image of the target to the aircrew; it has a wide field of view search capability and a narrow field of view acquisition/targeting capability of battlefield-sized targets. The pod also contains a CCD camera used to obtain target imagery in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. An on-gimbal inertial navigation sensor establishes line-of-sight and automatic boresighting capability.
RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod

RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod


The pod is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions. A laser rangefinder provides information for various avionics systems, for example, navigation updates, weapon deliveries and target updates. The targeting pod includes an automatic target tracker to provide fully automatic stabilized target tracking at altitudes, airspeeds and slant ranges consistent with tactical weapon delivery maneuvers. These features simplify the functions of target detection and recognition, and permit attack of targets with precision-guided weapons on a single pass.LITENING significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground and air targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons).
RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod

RAFAEL Litening Advanced Targeting Pod


The Litening Pod is in operational use worldwide, over 1500 Pods have already been sold to customers around the world. The pods have logged over 1,900,000 flying hours, more than two-thirds in contingency operations around the globe, with availability over 97%. It is integrated on more than 20 platforms: F-16 blocks 15OCU, 20, 30/32, 40/42, 50, 52, 52+, F-16I, F-16MLU, F-15E, AV8B, F-18 A/B/C/D, F-4E, F-5E, A-10, B-52, Jaguar, AMX, Mirage 2000, Tornado, MiG21, MiG27, Gripen JAS 39, and Sukhoi 30. The pods are in use by more than twenty air forces-among them the USAF, ANG, AFRES, the US Marines, the RAF, RAAF, RNLAF, the Israel AF and the Swedish, German, Hellenic, Chilean, Portuguese, and Spanish Air Forces. The research and development program began at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Missiles Division in Israel, with subsequent completion of Litening I for use in the Israeli Air Force. In 1995 Northrop Grumman Corporation teamed with Rafael for further development and sales of the Litening pod.

Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat

Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat

Solas Marine fast interceptor boats (FIC) are vessels being built for the Indian Navy by a shipyard located along the Hamilton Canal at Wattala, near Colombo, owned by Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd is part of Dubai-based Solas Marine Services Group. The Indian ministry of defence (MOD) on 22 May 2009 sent out request for proposal (RfP) to 43 shipyards in India and other countries for 80 FICs. After the bids were submitted by the contenders, they were evaluated by the technical evaluation committee (TEC). Thereafter Sri Lankan shipyard Solas Marine was shortlisted for supply of the 80 boats. A deal worth ₹3 billion (US$42 million) for the same was signed in the last week of September 2011. As per the agreement, the 80 boats were to be supplied in batches of 15 and the induction of first batch was to take place within 36 months from the signing of the contract.

Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat

Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat


The delivery of the initial batch of FICs was scheduled for December 2012 and the following batch in April 2013. This was delayed at the manufacturer’s end, pushing the delivery schedule by a few months. As of March 2013 first bath of four craft were delivered to southern command which were inducted by it on 20 March 2013 and Southern Naval Command was also scheduled to receive 12 more of these craft in the coming months.Out of 80 boats, 31 will be based in Western Naval Command, 16 in Southern Naval Command, 33 in Eastern Naval Command. They will be used by the navy’s newly raised Sagar Prahari Bal for guarding naval assets and strategic installations from seaborne threats, harbour defence (primarily, protection of vessels inside the harbour area), and patrolling the seafront with state marine police forces.
Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat

Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat


The Solas Marine interceptor boats are 16-metre (52 ft) long boats with beam of 3.8 metres (12 ft) and have draught of 0.8 metres (2 ft 7 in). They have deep–vee chine hull form with sharp water entry to ensure a soft ride in adverse sea states. The Vacuum infusion process have been used to build hull, which ensure significant strength gains, intrinsic to the technology. The vessels have excellent sea-keeping and dynamic stability capability at high speed in sea state 3 and is sea worthy up to sea state 4. The craft’s model has been tested at Wolfson, UK.
Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat

Solas Marine 16M fast interceptor boat


The upper deck canopy of each vessel is bullet proof and has air conditioned crew area to meet all crew comfort and safety measures. They are water-jet propelled with top speed of 45 knots (83 km/h; 52 mph) and have endurance of 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). They are also fitted with night vision devices, communication equipment, automatic identification system (AIS) and radar, besides carrying a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a sonic weapon used for scaring pirates away. The vessels carry a crew of 4 and can carry a variety of armament from Heavy Machine Guns to Grenade Launchers. They are intended for intercepting suspicious boats for inspection and verification.

NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division has reached new heights in the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). The shipyard installed the final piece of the ship’s new main mast—the 34-foot upper mast section—that raises the ship’s distinctive profile 123 feet above the flight deck. The RCOH now is 50 percent complete.

NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast

NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast


“Landing the upper mast is one of the most visible construction milestones in the mid-life refueling overhaul and maintenance availability of an aircraft carrier,” said Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. “We are making significant progress with George Washington and look forward to returning a fully recapitalized, mission-ready ship to the fleet for another 25 years of service.”
NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast

NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast


To commemorate the milestone, George Washington sailors on Friday held a brief mast-stepping ceremony that recognizes an ancient maritime custom of placing a coin underneath the ship’s mast to bring good fortune. A time capsule containing photos, a piece of the old mast, several coins and other artifacts was attached to a metal plate, which later will be welded under the mast.
NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast

NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast


“Mast-stepping is a way to link the past with the future,” said Capt. Glenn Jamison, the ship’s commanding officer. “It is a way to honor the heritage of this ship and our namesake. George Washington once said that ‘without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.’ Now, with this new mast signifying the progress we’re making during RCOH, USS George Washington is ready to carry on the mantle of representing the Navy as only General George Washington could have imagined and wanted.”
NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast

NNS Completes Installation of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Main Mast


The ship arrived at Newport News in August 2017 to begin the complex engineering and construction project and is currently in dry dock for hull and freeboard blasting and painting; repairs to its propellers, sea chests, shafts and rudders; and defueling and refueling of its power plant.

Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia

Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia

India’s indigenous supersonic fighter HAL-Tejas recently participated in aerial displays during the five-day Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia. The Indian Air Force (IAF) team departed from Air Force Station Kalaikunda for Langkawi on March 22 via Myanmar, Yangon. The IAF also posted pictures and a video of the HAL-Tejas aircraft practicing. The Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad & the Defence Minister of Malaysia, Mohamad Sabu also visited the Tejas aircraft & interacted with team IAF.

Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia

Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia


The Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA-2019) is planned in Langkawi, Malaysia from March 26 to March 30, which will provide an opportunity to the IAF air-warriors to interact with their Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) counterparts and foster close relationship between the two services. This will serve as a foundation for any future interaction with the Malaysian Air Force.
Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia

Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia


The HAL Tejas, which received its final operational clearance earlier this year, is a possible contender for Malaysia’s light fighter jet procurement project. The Indian jet is in competition against the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17, South Korean F-50 and Russian YAK-130. With an initial purchase of 12 units, Malaysia is also looking to have an option for additional 24 units in the future.
Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia

Indian HAL Tejas to take part at LIMA, Malaysia


The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”. Tejas has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single dorsal fin. It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft.

Chinook CH-47F Block II

Chinook CH-47F Block II

The Chinook Block II (CH-47F Block II) is a U.S. Army program focused on a series of improvements that increase payload, provide commonality across the fleet, and create a foundation for affordable future upgrades. The Block 2 aims for a payload of 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) with 4,000 ft (1,200 m) and 95 °F (35 °C) high and hot hover performance, eventually increased up to 6,000 ft (1,800 m), to carry the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle; maximum takeoff weight would be raised to 24,500 kg (54,000 lb). It features the composite-based Advanced Chinook Rotor Blade (derived from the cancelled RAH-66 Comanche) 20% more powerful Honeywell T55-715 engines, and the active parallel actuator system (APAS)

The Block 2 enhancements, which are being developed for the US Army’s wider CH-47F fleet, include the Advanced Chinook Rotor Blade (ACRB), which features geometry and a new asymmetric aerofoil to increase the aircraft’s lift capacity by about 1,500 lb (680 kg) at 4,000 ft and 35 °C in the hover (the army’s 4K/95 performance benchmark). The Advanced Chinook Rotor Blades (ACRBs) and a more pointed nose for avionics growth will be the two features that enable physical identification of a Block 2 Chinook from its Block 1 predecessor. It also includes a new drive system to accommodate the higher torque levels; a single segment fuel tank in each side sponson, compared with the three now; electrical system enhancements; and some other unspecified improvements.

Chinook CH-47F Block II

Chinook CH-47F Block II


The active parallel actuator system enhances the digital advanced flight-control system, providing an exact torque split between the rotors for greater efficiency. A new fuel system combines the three fuel cells in each sponson into one larger fuel cell and eliminating intracell fuel transfer hardware, reducing weight by 90 kg (200 lb) and increasing fuel capacity. Electrical capacity is increased by three 60 kVA generators. Chinook Block II (CH-47F Block II) will also open the door to an improved engine for the Chinook, via the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) programme.
Chinook CH-47F Block II

Chinook CH-47F Block II


The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol (later known as Boeing Rotorcraft Systems). In 2001, the first CH-47F, an upgraded CH-47D, made its maiden flight; the first production model rolled out on 15 June 2006 at Boeing’s facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, and first flew on 23 October 2006. AgustaWestland assembles the CH-47F under license, known as the Chinook ICH-47F, for several customers. Boeing delivered 48 CH-47Fs to the U.S. Army through August 2008; at that time Boeing announced a $4.8 billion contract with the Army for 191 Chinooks.