GE Aviation has announced here at the show that it is to provide the data link for Lockheed Martin’s Block 8.1 upgrade for the C-130J Hercules. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $167 million upgrade contract by the U.S. Air Force in December, and has selected GE Aviation (Hall 4 Stand B7) to provide the advanced communication, navigation and air traffic management data link.
Raytheon’s new small tactical munition (STM), which the U.S. group claims is the first purpose-built weapon for tactical unmanned air systems (UAS), could be in active service within a few months. The U.S. group told AIN it is currently integrating the STM on “a couple of platforms that we can’t disclose,” while reporting interest from the U.S. Marines in weaponizing their Shadow UAS with the new device as well as possible special forces applications.
With facilities in Italy and the UK, Selex Galileo lies at the heart of radar developments in Europe. Not only is the company heavily involved in two of Europe’s three new-generation fighter programs, but it is also making important strides in the field of surveillance radars for patrol aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. Active electronically scanned antenna (AESA), or e-scan, technology is at the center of this capability.
Sen. Claire McCaskill is the latest politician to take a poke at the FAA, this time over an $860 million contract to train new and current air traffic controllers. According to the Missouri Democrat, who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee on contracting oversight, the program will run out of money by August, more than one year before the contract is scheduled to end.
The Portuguese government’s decision to hold talks with air traffic control employees of its state-run ATC group, NAV, was enough to convince controllers to halt a planned strike that would have erupted during the height of that nation’s vacation-travel season.
Southeast England is going to be a busy place from the middle of July to mid-August as visitors and competitors converge on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, and planning earlier than usual is going to be the key for business aviation operators hoping to get in and out of London-area airports, although they could still face delays.
Because of the popularity of tablet computers like the Apple iPad, as well as a variety of glass-cockpit displays capable of showing Next Generation Radar (Nexrad), the NTSB has issued a Safety Alert cautioning pilots about the limitations of the mosaic weather radar data displayed in these new delivery devices.
A demonstrator for the U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (Bams) UAV crashed near NAS Patuxent River on June 11. The UAV crashed into swampland about 20 miles east of the base and was destroyed, after what the Navy described as a routine flight. The accident came just four days before Northrop Grumman unveiled the first MQ-4C, the full-specification Bams UAV, at Palmdale, Calif.
The developer of a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that is orders of magnitude smaller than other radars was awarded a $24 million contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, Mass., to build a “lightweight, ultra-wideband” SAR for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for completion in 2017.
Yet wildlife strikes–of which more than 97 percent have been birds–on civil aircraft in the U.S. currently occur on average about 26 times per day or just over one every hour, according to the 2012 joint FAA/Dept of Agriculture report, Wildlife strikes to civil aircraft in the United States, 1990-2010. The total cost to the aviation community of strikes between 1990 and 2010, including damage repairs and replacement parts, out-of-service time and other costs, added up to close to half a billion dollars.