Potential investors in the newly liberated Libya became more nervous last week after learning that an armed militia group had cut through a perimeter fence at Tripoli International Airport (HLLT) in broad daylight. The militia then drove their heavily armed vehicles onto an airport ramp in search of their leader, whom they believed was being held on the field.
Northrop Grumman gained a $1.7 billion (€1.2 billion) contract to supply five Block 40 Global Hawk UAVs with advanced multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) radars for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.
The threat to civil aviation posed by man-portable air defense systems (Manpads)–such as shoulder launched missiles–in conflict areas around the world is resulting in a requirement for intelligent systems to help counter the attacks. Saab’s Civil Aircraft Missile Protection (Camps) system has increasingly been used to combat such threats, Hannes Prinsloo, technical product manager South Africa for Saab told AIN.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) chose the Alenia C-27J Spartan to replace a fleet of 14 DHC-4 Caribou STOL airlifters that have already been retired. The 10-aircraft deal will be conducted via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system, with L-3 acting as the prime contractor. Alenia and L-3 formed a partnership to sell the C-27J to the U.S. armed forces. The RAAF also evaluated the EADS CN-295 for the Air 8000 requirement.
German aerospace research center DLR has completed a series of flight simulator trials with a new helmet-mounted display. The testing program enlisted helicopter pilots from the German federal police, ADAC (the German Automobile Association) and German armed forces. Aimed at easing landings in poor visibility, such as brown-out or white-out conditions, the information displayed includes altitude, speed, course, attitude and obstacle situation. The device eliminates the need for pilots to constantly switch between looking outside the helicopter and checking the instrument panel.
Despite a current mission that calls for preventing terrorism and enhancing security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proceeding with plans to cut funding in half—from $25.1 million to $12.5 million—for the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.
NATO officials expect to sign the long-awaited contract to provide an Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability within the next three months. Northrop Grumman will provide five Global Hawk Block 40 UAVs, while a consortium of European companies that includes EADS Cassidian and Selex Galileo will provide transportable and mobile ground stations. Initial operating capability (IOC) is slated for 2017-18.
A UTAir crew will be honored on Monday with the Sikorsky Humanitarian Award for rescuing UN peacekeepers from enemy fire in the Congo. The honor is “presented to the person(s) who best demonstrate(s) the value of helicopters to society by saving lives, protecting property and aiding those in distress.”
A five-year contract between Eurocopter’s Helibras subsidiary and the Brazilian armed forces details support for the force’s new fleet of 50 EC725 helicopters. Helibras will supply and manage all spare parts and stocks and provide related technical support, including inspection, overhaul and deployment of teams to provide on-site services for the Brazilian armed forces’ EC725s. It is the first agreement involving all three branches of the military and is valued at approximately $79.3 million.
With concern mounting over Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. and allies in the region are adding bunker-busting bombs designed to penetrate hardened targets from the air. In a television interview on December 19, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta noticeably toughened his previous stance.