Having been dogged by cost overruns, Boeing's avionics modernization program (AMP) for the C-130 Hercules has passed its Defense Acquisition Board Milestone C, allowing low-rate initial production (LRIP) to begin. The AMP provides an integrated avionics system to prolong the useful career of the U.S. Air Force's legacy Hercules fleet, and includes full night-vision-goggle compatibility, glass cockpits and digital systems.
Eurocopter was eyeing new German military requirements at the ILA Berlin Air Show earlier this month, even as it defended its delivery performance on the German Army’s Tiger attack helicopter program. The company displayed a Forward Air Medical Evacuation (medevac) configuration of the NH-90, and its concept for the Marinehubschrauber 90-Neue Generation (MH90-NG), that would replace the German Navy’s Sea King and Lynx fleets.
Boeing has been awarded a three-year $9.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop and demonstrate technologies that enable multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles to coordinate with each other and a manned airborne control station to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
For many years the U.S. Air Force has operated a fleet of surplus Phantom IIs as QF-4s in the full-scale aerial target role (FSAT). Under projected usage rates, that fleet will be consumed within the next few years. Now, the Air Force has taken the first step to providing a replacement. Not surprisingly, the type chosen is the Lockheed Martin F-16, the older variants of which are entering the boneyard in some numbers.
Revue Thommen, a Switzerland-based manufacturer of aircraft instruments, air-data systems and components, is at Booth No. 1434 with a redesign of a helicopter searchlight system made by Russia's Transas. The new searchlight fills “a niche where current product offerings fail to meet the needs of the market,” said Thommen’s Rudolf Iten. The redesigned Thommen TSL 1600 searchlight will be certified under EASA and FAA standards.
Naaco’s ‘Mercury Mod’ Turns 15
Naasco, the starter-generator MRO specialist, is celebrating the 15th anniversary of “Mercury Mod,” its improvement program for starter-generators.
India will test fly, in 2012, its indigenous airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system integrated onboard a modified Embraer EMB 145, an official involved in the project said.
With the program having been declassified last November, the Rafael’s Spike NLOS weapon is being seen here for the first time at a trade show. The latest member of the successful missile family to emerge has an effective range of 25 km, more than three times that of the Spike-ER. The NLOS weapon is easily distinguishable from other Spike variants by having much longer folding wings.