The FAA issued an emergency order of revocation against Marpat Aviation of Switzer, W.Va., on August 27 for allegedly violating some conditions of its rotorcraft external-load operator certificate. The FAA believes Marpat failed to use a qualified chief pilot, falsified an application for renewal of its certificate and refused to comply with repeated FAA instructions to amend its flight manual. The agency says the company also operated its aircraft in a careless and reckless manner. Marpat subsequently surrendered its operating certificate.
Ruag Aviation announced a teaming with Highland Integrated Surveillance Systems (HISS) to market and deliver turnkey electronic warfare solutions for aircraft. The Swiss and American companies have “complementary competencies,” according to RUAG.
The deployment of four UK Royal Air Force Tornadoes to perform overwatch of Iraq, and an unconfirmed report last week that more might be deployed for surveillance of northern Nigeria, serves to illustrate the ongoing value of the aging but effective “Tonka.” Although the RAF fleet is scheduled to be retired in 2019 in favor of the F-35, upgrades continue, with another one announced recently. Meanwhile, the German air force intends to keep its Tornado fleet until at least 2025, with its own upgrades.
Elbit last month launched Skylens, a wearable head-up display for an enhanced flight vision system. The ski goggle-shaped device offers a greater field of view than night-vision goggles (NVG), according to the company. Developed specifically for helicopters, the system also fuses infrared (EVS) and synthetic (SVS) images with flight parameter symbology for improved safety in poor visibility. The symbology will present flight and critical engine parameters.
Aspen Avionics is celebrating its 10th anniversary at AirVenture 2014 and installation of the Aspen retrofit glass-panel EFD 1000 in more than 9,000 aircraft. First introduced in 2006 and with deliveries beginning in 2008, the EFD 1000 offers a simple upgrade path by fitting into standard instrument panel holes while adding modern capabilities to older aircraft. “You literally have in your cockpit today more capable avionics than in a 737,” said Aspen president and CEO John Uczekaj. “It’s been quite a remarkable journey in a short time.”
The U.S. government has nearly completed revising its export controls for aerospace-related products, but it has not resolved how to manage exports of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and components, senior officials said last week at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Israeli defense group Rafael believes it will be more responsive to the markets it serves following the reorganization that took effect at the beginning of this year. The company is now split into three divisions: air superiority, land and naval systems, and air and C4ISR.
Raytheon is in the final stages of preparing the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II for a system verification review to be undertaken within the coming weeks in advance of the U.S. government’s Milestone C review. If the review is passed successfully, a decision to enter the low-rate initial production (LRIP) phase is expected.
Ukrainian defense electronics group Aerotechnica (Hall 2 Stand C28b) has been at the forefront of the urgent effort to modernize the country’s air defenses in response to the military standoff with Russian-backed separatists. It specializes in replacing dated radar hardware, such as vacuum-tube modules and traveling wave-guide tubes with solid-state components. The company has successfully performed this upgrade with numerous radar sets, most notably the P-18.
The latest generation of the “Gorgon Stare” wide-area surveillance system has reached initial operational capability (IOC) in Afghanistan, lead contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) announced on July 1. Fitted to a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft, the system is providing the U.S. Air Force’s only operational capability for day/night persistent wide-area motion imagery, the company said.
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