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A U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopter Has Crashed in Iraq

A U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopter Has Crashed in Iraq

WASHINGTON (USA), March 16, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova (Bm), Photo by The Drive.com

A U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter with seven service members on board has crashed in Anbar Province, near the town of Al-Qa’im in western Iraq, said U.S. officials on Thursday (15th March 2018), reported Air Force Times.

Rescuers have reached the place of the accident, but it is not known much yet. If the information is confirmed, this would be the first accident with a U.S. helicopter since 2014 when the U.S. operations against ISIS in the region started. Capt. AnnMarie Annicelli, the spokeswoman for the Air Forces Central Command, stated to Air Force Times that as soon as there are other details available, including information about any survivors, they will be additionally announced.

The reasons for the crash of the military helicopter will be investigated and analysed. According to initial reports the helicopter was being moved from one location to another and it was not under fire. The sandy and dusty conditions in Anbar sometimes could be really heavy for helicopters and their crews.

The U.S. Air Force presence in the region has decreased after the announcement of Iraq that ISIS has been driven from the main Iraqi towns. There are still representatives of the U.S. Air Force at Al Asad for training purposes.

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F/A-18 and EA-18G Upgrade Contract Will Be Granted to Raytheon

F/A-18 and EA-18G Upgrade Contract Will Be Granted to Raytheon

LOS ANGELES (the USA), May 21, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: Raytheon (AN/APG-79 radar)

On 9th May the Naval Air Warfare Centre announced that it intends to grant an F/A-18 and EA-18G Upgrade Contract to Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems without a bidding competition as the company is the sole designer, developer and manufacturer of the systems, reported FlightGlobal.

The scope of the contract will include upgrading of the ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared) targeting pod and AN/APG-65, AN/APG-73, and AN/APG-79 radars of the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18G aircrafts.

With the help of the ATFLIR system it can be located and designated objects day and night through picking up their heat signature. Its range is more than 74km and may be used at altitudes of more than 15,240m.

The AN/APG-65 and AN/APG-73 are a family of all-weather multimode airborne radar systems designed by Raytheon especially for the F/A-18 Hornet. The APG-79 is an upgraded active electronically scanned array (AESA) version for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircrafts and provides a high level of aircrew situational awareness. Raytheon markets the APG-79 radar system as one of its most advanced.

The upgrading of the infrared and radar systems of the F/A-18 and EA-18G aircrafts is enforced by the coming purchasing of additional F/A-18 aircrafts by the USN. In connection with that purchasing Boeing has received a firm-fixed-price contract at the amount of $41.3 million for long-lead materials for the purposes of supporting the manufacturing of 24 F/A-18 aircrafts for the USN. That was revealed by the Defence Department on 16th May. March 2022 is the agreed deadline of that contract.

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Significant Number of Orders Announced by Spectra Group (UK) Ltd at SOFIC 2018 in Tampa

Significant Number of Orders Announced by Spectra Group (UK) Ltd at SOFIC 2018 in Tampa

TAMPA (Florida, the USA), May 21, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: Spectra Group (UK) Ltd (SlingShot fitted to ATV)

The leading international solutions provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications in locations with limited or compromised infrastructure, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, announced that within the past 12 months, since the last year’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), the orders of SlingShot systems by specialist end-users from four continents have become approximately 1000. Thus, the total number of shipped systems goes “over the 3000 mark”. That was revealed today at SOFIC 2018, which is taking place in Tampa, Florida, from 21st to 24th May.

“This order intake milestone is one we’re very proud of and proves, again, that SlingShot is fast becoming the system of choice for use by the world’s finest specialist users,” said the CEO at Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, Simon Davies.

At SOFIC 2018, the SlingShot system is being showcased by Spectra’s partners, ComSat, Inc., and in that connection Davies added, “We’re receiving significant amounts of interest in our products and services from around the globe so our attendance at SOFIC 2018 is another fantastic opportunity to meet people and explain the advantages of our systems. My team will be at the event so please do make contact by visiting the ComSat stand.”

ComSat, Inc. provides secure, world-class global satellite connectivity solutions to government, military and commercial maritime customers operating in land, aeronautical and maritime service environments.

The unique low SWaP system, SlingShot that ComSat, Inc. will be showcasing at their stand (Booth 225) is a cost-effective option that provides secure BLOS COTM (Beyond Line Of Sight Communications On The Move) using in-service tactical radios connected to a global commercial satellite network provider. Live demonstrations of the system will be also available by appointment.

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The First of Four Red Flag-Alaska Exercises Scheduled for 2018 Was Held

The First of Four Red Flag-Alaska Exercises Scheduled for 2018 Was Held

WASHINGTON (the USA), May 18, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: Senior Airman Isaac Johnson/U.S. Air Force

The first of four scheduled for 2018 exercises, Red Flag-Alaska 18-1, was held from 30th April to 11th May, reported Defense News.

The other three exercises, Red Flag-Alaska 18-2, 18-3 and 19-1 are scheduled for June 11 – 22, 2018, Aug. 11 – 24, 2018, and Oct. 8 – 19, 2018 respectively.

This was the first time in the history of Red Flag-Alaska when the U.S. Air Force and Army together with NATO allies demonstrated a joint capability.

Red Flag-Alaska is a unique initiative that provides a more realistic operational training environment.

The radar technician, Staff Sgt. Ryan Goll, explained, “Red Flag-Alaska provides the type of training that is only replicable in real-life combat situations. It’s a really good example of the air-to-air component. Tracking enemy fighters and actually getting our communications gear jammed — this is more than your typical sortie or exercise; Red Flag is the most realistic training you’re going to get.”

And the air battle manager, Capt. Noel Conrard, added, “When we are at home station [training] it’s like a backyard football scrimmage; we just don’t have as many players. But at a large force exercise like Red Flag-Alaska, it’s like playing on a regular sized football field. We execute different tactics and integrate with more assets. It allows the E-3 to be used to the fullest extent of its capabilities.”

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The U.S. Marine Corps Accepted the Delivery of its First CH-53K

The U.S. Marine Corps Accepted the Delivery of its First CH-53K

JACKSONVILLE (North Carolina, the USA), May 18, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: the Marine Corps

On the 16th May, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) accepted the delivery of its first CH-53 King Stallion heavy lift helicopter at the New River Air Station in Jacksonville, North Carolina, reported Defense News.

The new acquisition of the Marine Corps is reported to be the most powerful helicopter within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

In a command release, the deputy commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder stated, “I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines.”

Except its powerfulness the CH-53K also features an exceptional bearing capacity by lifting almost three times the weight of the CH-53E. The latter has been demonstrated in January, when the helicopter managed to lift a 19,000 pound (around 8,618 kg) Joint Light Tactical Vehicle at 100 feet (around 30 m) for about ten minutes.

Unfortunately, before 2019, it will not be operational.

With regard to the above, in a command release, it was explained from the Corps that, “The helicopter’s arrival to New River enters it into the Supportability Test Plan where U.S. Marines will conduct a logistical assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion.”

The first international debut of the CH-53K took place in April at ILA Berlin air show.

The intentions of the Corps include delivery of 200 CH-53Ks, eight of which are already contracted. According to Sikorsky Aircraft, the manufacturer of the CH-53K, a second one will be delivered to the Corps in the beginning of 2019.

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