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5/27/2018
US services battle over future helicopter priorities
US Marine Corps officials are seeking clarity from their army counterparts over the latter's priorities for the Future Vertical Lift helicopter programme, as the service eyes the long-term replacement of its Bell UH-1Y fleet.
5/27/2018
Royal Navy receives first Merlin HC4, but could request future in-flight refueling capability
The UK Royal Navy has taken delivery of the first of an eventual 25 Leonardo Helicopters AW101 Merlin HC4 heavy-lift transports, but future upgrade priorities are already being outlined. To be operated by the RN's Commando Helicopter Force, the former Royal Air Force Merlins are being upgraded and marinised under a £388 million ($517 million) contract.
5/27/2018
Bell confident on V-280 as development gathers pace
Bell Helicopter is confident that its new V-280 Valor tiltrotor will achieve the programme's targeted speed of 280kt (518km/h) later this summer, with the test aircraft having so far hit 190kt during initial transitions to forward flight.
5/24/2018
Air Force T-38C Talon Jet Trainer Crashes in Mississippi
Details are still emerging, but a U.S. Air Force T-38C Talon training jet has crashed near Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. It is the second crash of one of the service's aircraft in May 2018 and the latest in a spike of serious accidents across the U.S. military's aviation communities.
5/24/2018
V-22 crash off Australian coast possibly due to downwash
An US Marine Corps investigation of the crash of a MV-22B Osprey into an amphibious transport ship in August 2017, which killed three, found that the rotorcraft suffered no mechanical or electrical problems and the flight crew was not at fault. A paragraph containing the service’s "most probable" explanation of the mishap was redacted in the report, though engineers with Naval Air Systems Command noted problems with the aircraft’s rotor downwash in a non-redacted section.
5/24/2018
Boeing F/A-18E/F demonstrates sensor fusion
Two Boeing F/A-18E/Fs have demonstrated a sensor fusion capability that combines the data from multiple sensors on both aircraft in near real-time as the programme launches production of the Block III version of the 20-year-old, carrier-based fighter, says Bob Kornegay, business development manager for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G Programs at Boeing.
5/23/2018
Israeli F-35Is make combat debut with two air strikes
Israeli Air Force F-35I Adirs have participated in two air strikes in the Middle East, making the country’s recently-deployed, Lockheed Martin-made fighters the first in the global fleet to see combat, says IAF commander Maj Gen Amikam Norkin.
5/23/2018
Marine Corps orders Switchblade drones from AeroVironment
Usage of AeroVironment’s explosive-tipped drone, the Switchblade, is growing as the US Marine Corps ordered its first of the missile-like weapon in April 2018. The USMC order was part of a larger follow-on contract with the US Army which brings the total value of Switchblade awards to $111 million since August 2017, according to the company.
5/23/2018
BAE Systems receives $100 million plus to support F-35’s electronic warfare system
BAE Systems received a more than $100 million contract from Lockheed Martin to support the maintenance and replacement of electronic warfare systems on the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. The company will manage the supply chain for the electronic warfare system and maintain regional warehouses with on-hand inventories of critical components.
5/22/2018
South China Sea dispute: China lands bombers on island
China has for the first time landed bombers on disputed territory in the South China Sea, its air force said, prompting fresh US warnings that it is destabilising the region. The long-range H-6K bomber was among those which took part in drills on islands and reefs to improve China's ability to "reach all territory".
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