The U.S. Navy’s latest attempt to replace the aging Presidential helicopter fleet has been delayed. The Pentagon rejected an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the VXX program because no “cost-effective” solution was identified, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Boeing and Sikorsky are gaining new export business worth over $2 billion for Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters, respectively.
Boeing is investing $130 million to overhaul the Boeing CH-47 Chinook production line in Ridley Park, Pa., making it the largest capital investment made by the company’s Defense, Space & Security segment. The project to renovate 223,000 sq ft of production space around lean manufacturing principles will be completed in October.
Rostvertol is at the show promoting its Mi-26T2, an upgraded version of its popular heavy-lift helicopter, in the hope of securing sales to India and other potential customers. The company is appearing at the Paris Air Show for the first time since becoming part of the Russian Helicopters (Chalet B37).
By the end of this month the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) is expected to finish letting three to five contracts valued at $3 to $4 million aimed at kick-starting the next generation of military helicopter, the Joint Multi-Role(JMR), that would be used by all branches of the armed forces.
Columbia Helicopters has broken ground at its Aurora, Ore. headquarters for the expansion of its T55 engine maintenance program. The building will include a T55-714 engine test cell to allow the MRO to provide complete engine overhaul and quick-turn-around service for troubleshooting and engine testing. Columbia has more than 26 years’ experience operating the Model 234, the civilian version of the CH-47 Chinook.
Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. 7334) has opened a new $4 million engine test cell for the GE T55-714 turbine engine, which is used in military CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters worldwide. The cell is also designed to accept future-design engines. The test cell will enable the company to do “nose-to-tail” maintenance on CH-47s.
Boeing announced the first flight of an upgraded UK Royal Air Force Ch-47 Chinook. It also confirmed that the entire current fleet of 46 UK Chinooks will receive the new cockpit displays and mission avionics, supplied by Thales from its TopDeck range, by 2016. The upgrade also includes more powerful Honeywell T55-l-714A engines, new defensive systems, nose-mounted FLIR and new secure communications.
Boeing has consolidated its military aircraft business into four divisions from six, as part of a rationalization process prompted by slowed defense spending. Two of the previous divisions are amalgamated into a single missiles and unmanned airborne systems division based in St. Charles, Mo., while the current rotorcraft division is split.