Aerospace & Defense News - Defense North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Defense North America) Oct 23, 2011

AAI AAI has unveiled the Shadow M2, a significantly larger and heavier version of its RQ-7B Shadow, the US Army's standard tactical unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The wingspan of the Shadow M2 grows from 20ft to 25ft (6.1m to 7.6m), and the aircraft is heavier by 120lb (54.4kg). It also features a redesigned fuselage, replacing the signature box with a streamlined, lift-generating structure. These changes extend the flight duration to 16h. "Basically the internal guts are the same internal guts that are in the upgraded RQ-7B," said Steven Reid, senior vice-president of AAI. "It's just that we can now carry additional payload and make use of that increased bandwidth that the TCDL [tactical common datalink] gives us." With the M2 upgrades, Shadow M2 can carry two separate payloads instead of the standard single EO/IR turrets. Oct 17, 2011

Aerospace Industries Association New England sees drop in military contracts, study says. Contracts from defense companies are shrinking in Massachusetts and the New England region, shows a study by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. In Massachusetts, the value of military contracts fell 7.7%, to USD14.3 billion, in 2010. In the region, spending for military contracts dropped 9%, to USD29.1 billion, for 2010. A study by the Aerospace Industries Association found that USD1 trillion in defense cuts could lead to the loss of 8,200 jobs in Massachusetts. Oct 21, 2011

AeroVironment Miniature drones join Army arsenal, officials say. U.S. Army officials say they plan to add "kamikaze" drones to the service's arsenal. The miniature drones, called Switchblade, are powered by electric motors and can fit in a soldier's backpack. The robotic aircraft are manufactured by AeroVironment in California. AeroVironment received a USD7,298,530 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract from the United States Army. This contract establishes a not-to-exceed amount for digital Puma[umlaut] All Environment (AE) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) contractor logistics support services in support of a Joint Urgent Operational Need Statement. The services are scheduled to be provided within the next 12 months. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) selected the Puma UAS in 2008 for its AECV program after a full and open competition, the fourth U.S. Department of Defense competition for programs of record involving small UAS and the fourth such competition won by AeroVironment. Each Puma system consists of three air vehicles and two ground control systems. The air vehicle carries an integrated electro-optical and infrared gimbaled video camera, is designed for enhanced survivability in land and maritime environments, and can operate effectively in foul weather and over rugged terrain. Its quiet operation, stabilized imagery and precision landing capability make Puma systems easy to operate and recover. The Puma air vehicle weighs 13 pounds, is battery powered and has a flight endurance of two hours. Oct 18, 2011

Bell Helicopter The US Army will consider alternatives to its plan to acquire upgraded Bell Helicopter OH-58F Kiowa Warriors and will now stage a flying demonstration in April with as many as five rival aircraft. The proposed $8.7 million event, pending approval by the under-secretary of defense for acquisition, would finally clarify whether the army should invest in a more capable aircraft for its armed scout missions or persevere with the OH-58F, the latest version of the almost 45-year-old Kiowa series with an upgraded cockpit. The army has already ruled out the Sikorsky S-97 Raider from the contest, which came as a surprise to the manufacturer. The high-speed S-97 was launched a year ago and is not expected to reach flight status until 2014, or two years after the army's demonstration. Still, Sikorsky officials believed the army would consider S-97 simulations as part of the demonstration. However, the army emphasised that only off-the-shelf aircraft in 2012 will be considered to replace the OH-58F. The S-97's absence leaves a field consisting entirely of helicopters with conventional speeds, but with the ability to hover out of ground effect at 6,000ft (1,800m) density altitude at 35 C (95 F). The OH-58 is limited to a hover at 4,000ft at similar temperatures. Oct 13, 2011

Boeing Boeing Completes Delivery of RAAF Super Hornets Ahead of Schedule. Four new Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Super Hornet fleet at RAAF Base Amberley today, completing delivery of all 24 RAAF Super Hornets ahead of contract schedule. The arrival at the base was marked by the four new Super Hornets joining 16 other RAAF F/A-18Fs for a dramatic 20-aircraft flyover. "The Super Hornet provides a major advancement in capability for the RAAF and the entire Australian Defence Force," said RAAF Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing. "The F/A-18F employs the world's most advanced combat radar, ensuring our forces have a clear advantage in both technology and capability, whether conducting air, ground or maritime operations. The Australian government announced plans in March 2007 to acquire 24 advanced Block II versions of the F model Super Hornet, which features a two-person cockpit. The first five RAAF Super Hornets arrived at Amberley on March 26, 2010. Today's ceremony marks the fifth and final contracted RAAF Super Hornet delivery. The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 470 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget. Oct 21, 2011

Boeing, Tapestry Solutions, DOD Boeing Subsidiary Tapestry Solutions to Conduct US Army Training in Europe. Boeing today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Tapestry Solutions was selected by the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct training exercises for the U.S. Army in Europe under the Joint Multinational Simulation Center's Battle Staff Training contract. Tapestry was awarded a five-year, USD59 million contract to design, plan and conduct exercises ranging from Army unit-level activities to large-scale events involving multinational forces, such as the European Command's annual Austere Challenge. Tapestry, as prime contractor, leads a team that includes SAIC of McLean, Va., and Capstone Corp. and Metro Productions, both of Alexandria, Va. The contract calls for the Tapestry team to provide support to the Joint Multinational Simulation Center in Grafenwohr,Germany, and to its satellites in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Vicenza, Italy. Tapestry also will support the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, as that center prepares U.S. and multinational brigade combat teams for missions under the U.S. Army's Combat Training Center program. In addition, Tapestry will supply and coordinate training capability for the Joint Multinational Training Command's Multinational Mission Command Training program as part of United States European Command's (USEUCOM) engagement plan with countries across the European Area of Operational Responsibility. Tapestry Solutions, headquartered in San Diego, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and forms the core of the Logistics...

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