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Author: Subject: ASW/ASuW Maritime Warfare helicopters
ADMK2
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[*] posted on 14-1-2018 at 09:51 AM


And people still argue we should have opted for the NFH-90 instead of the Romeos?

Ha!




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 14-1-2018 at 03:42 PM


Which people?
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[*] posted on 14-1-2018 at 04:39 PM


No one that I am aware of on this forum, but NFH-90 had numerous high-level supporters in Canberra.

They supported it on the basis that it would share significant commonality with the Army's MRH-90s and would ensure long term work for the local assemblers in Queensland.

I am of the other camp, who supported Romeo and thinks the Army should have bought the latest iteration of the Black Hawks rather than MRH-90.




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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 04:44 AM


There was a bit of noise when the decision was made (seven years ago), but I don’t know of anyone still arguing for the NFH.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 01:51 PM


There are guys that regularly pop-up in estimates who argue against all common sense in order to secure some advantage for Queensland. Off the top my head, Ian Macdonald? I think he's the guy who wanted to base the LHDs in Townsville, as well as transfer most of the depot level maintenance for vehicles. Now, in isolation, some of that kind of makes sense – but he wasn't really interested in the practicalities or a broader context. He raised the question again and again in estimates long after defence provided a reason. Even the ALP has form -- Rudd was prepared to move half the Navy, and not one of his cabinet spoke up against it.

I hope we have enough lived experience of the NH 90 not to be so stupid, but I wouldn't bet my house on it.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 02:17 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Raven22  
Which people?


Probably no-one in defence, though no doubt they’d love it and it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread, if we’d actually bought it... ;)

However a few commentators and ‘analysts’ still think the original AIR-9000 airframe reduction plan would have been the best option for ADF.

Obviously I don’t agree either, except if the plan had of resulted in purchases of UH-60M, MH-60R and AH-64D, then I would have been perfectly fine with it and ADF would probably have reached FOC on all these platforms by now, or would be close.




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 3-2-2018 at 11:08 AM


Norway runs into fresh problem with NH90 helicopters

02 February, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Dominic Perry London

Norway has concluded that its on-order fleet of NH Industries NH90 naval helicopters will not deliver sufficient flight hours to perform the roles originally intended for the 11t-class rotorcraft and recommends that all are converted to the anti-submarine warfare mission.

To be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, 14 NH90s were selected in 2001: six to undertake frigate-based ASW operations and eight for the search and rescue and fisheries and border protection role for the coastguard.

Oslo says that to meet the requirements for both the navy and coastguard, it needs 5,400 flight hours a year from the entire fleet. But an analysis performed by the armed forces suggests that availability is only 2,100h a year.

"The analysis shows that the NH90 will not be able to meet the need for both frigate and coastguard," it says.

Instead, the report, compiled by Norway's defence research institute, recommends that all 14 helicopters – seven have been delivered so far – are dedicated to the ASW effort.

"We are now in a situation where we have to reassess how we get the most out of this investment. My recommendation is to prioritise the NH90 for frigate," says Adm Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, head of the Norwegian armed forces.

"This is because the helicopter is a weapon platform that is crucial to the frigates' ability to detect and fight submarines."

While the ASW mission cannot be performed by another platform, he notes, the coastguard's requirements could be met by civilian operators or unmanned systems.

Norway's defence ministry says it will consider the report's recommendations before making a final decision.

The analysis did not consider the acquisition of alternative helicopters, or the termination of Oslo's contract with the NHI consortium.

NHI recently delivered Norway's first NH90 in the final operating configuration standard. It will hand over four more helicopters this year, with the remainder following in 2019.
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[*] posted on 6-2-2018 at 06:42 PM


Singapore Takes Delivery of New Seahawks

Feb 5, 2018

Marhalim Abas | ShowNews


The newly-delivered Seahawk is on show in the static display.

Singapore has taken delivery of two new Lockheed Martin S-70B Seahawks, from an unannounced order in 2013.There is no official confirmation of the delivery, but one of the Seahawks is part of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) 50th-anniversary static display at the Singapore Airshow 2018.

The helicopter (tail number 253) is so new its Federal Aviation Administration number – used during its test flights in the United States – remains visible despite being painted over. The pair was delivered to Singapore only last month.

They joined the other six Seahawks owned by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) but operated by the RSAF 123 Squadron, delivered in 2010. It is likely the new Seahawks are fitted for the same missions as the older ones: anti-submarine and anti-surface-warfare missions, the latter with data-linked RSN ships.

The new Seahawks are also likely fitted with the L-3 Helicopter Long Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) dipping sonar, the same as the old ones, though with new equipment as well as avionics.

The bigger Seahawk fleet will allow the RSN to deploy them on the new Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), a corvette-size ship equipped with a heli-deck. Three of the Independence-class LMVs are also operational, with another five being built.

Previously, the Seahawks were deployed on the Formidable-class frigates, which can operate and carry a single helicopter on missions. The LMVs are not fitted with a hangar, so they cannot deploy the Seahawk for long missions.
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[*] posted on 6-2-2018 at 07:02 PM


Maritime Operations Drive Increasing Regional Training Needs

by David Donald - February 6, 2018, 3:00 PM


As the extended maintenance arm for the RSAF, STEngg developed a major upgrade for Singapore’s C-130 fleet, subsequently refurbishing “Herks” for the Royal Air Force of Oman.

Simulation specialist and training systems integrator CAE has a significant presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region, which includes nations that the Montreal-headquartered company considers “home markets,” such as Australia and New Zealand.

Singapore is becoming increasingly important, as is India.

In characterizing the region, Ian Bell, CAE’s v-p and general manager for Asia-Pacific and Middle East, remarked, “It’s a huge marketplace and very diverse. There’s a lot of ocean and a lot of independent territories. We’re seeing a big increase in naval activity, and there’s a great willingness for ASEAN nations to work together.”

With its common database technology and ability to integrate complex training systems, CAE can provide synthetic training environments that not only support sovereign training, but also provide an environment for interoperability. “We need to meet the requirements of individual forces,” said Bell, “but they also want to train alongside their neighbors.”

One area that is of great significance is maritime patrol, and the company has considerable experience in providing training systems for a range of maritime patrol and anti-submarine platforms, training both pilots and rear crew. Having provided systems for training P-3 Orion crewmembers, CAE is also involved in the Boeing P-8 program, which is the Orion’s successor with both the U.S. and Australian navies, as well as serving with India.

In the rotary-wing world, the company provides training systems for the Royal Australian Navy’s Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and New Zealand’s Kaman SH-2 Seasprites, and here in Singapore it supports the Super Puma and S-70B Seahawk communities. Other helicopter types for which CAE provides training aids in the region include the Australian army’s CH-47s and MRH90s, Leonardo AW139s and AW189s, and the Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawks of the Royal Brunei Air Force.

Training for the latter is conducted in the Multi-Purpose Training Centre (MPTC) established as a joint venture with the Brunei government. Regarded as something of a “flagship” for the company, the MPTC has advanced classrooms and simulation capability that provide training for a variety of users. In addition to flight training activities that support Brunei’s S-70i and S-92 helicopters, and PC-7 turboprop trainers, the MPTC is being developed to provide training in diverse fields such as emergency management and healthcare.

For the S-70i syllabus CAE (Stand U87) has installed a Series 3000 full mission simulator with CAE 6000 Medallion image-generation system. This permits a wide range of missions to be undertaken in the simulator, including offshore rig landings, firefighting, and flying with night-vision goggles. Initial training for Brunei’s S-70i crews was undertaken by Sikorsky at its West Palm Beach facility in Florida, but training in the CAE simulator at the MPTC began in December, and is growing fast as the RBAF explores the system’s capabilities. “The take-up of simulator hours is increasing as training moves from live to synthetic,” reported Bell. However, spare capacity in the simulator can also be leased out to third-party operators of the S-70i/UH-60M.

Another area of interest for CAE is remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems. The company is the training partner for General Atomics, and is a member of Team Reaper that is pitching the Predator B to Australia. Bell sees the use of RPAs in the region as growing, especially for maritime patrol and search and rescue work.
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[*] posted on 6-2-2018 at 09:39 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Singapore Takes Delivery of New Seahawks

Feb 5, 2018

Marhalim Abas | ShowNews


The newly-delivered Seahawk is on show in the static display.

Singapore has taken delivery of two new Lockheed Martin S-70B Seahawks, from an unannounced order in 2013.There is no official confirmation of the delivery, but one of the Seahawks is part of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) 50th-anniversary static display at the Singapore Airshow 2018.


Surprised they stuck with B models instead of upgrading to Romeos.




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[*] posted on 8-2-2018 at 05:55 PM


Naval Aviation to Receive About 50 Modernised Ka-27 Helicopters

(Source: Russian Ministry of Defence; issued Feb 07, 2018)


Russia’s naval aviation command is to receive an additional 30 upgraded Ka-27M shipboard ASW helicopters by 2020, in addition to the 20 it currently operates. (RUS MoD photo)

60's technology that has now become 90's technology......whoopee! ;)

The Russian naval aviation’s possibilities in searching for and detecting submarines are to be raised to a new level due to about 50 modernised Ka-27 shipborne ASW helicopters.

These deck-based helicopters have already proven their best and shown high efficiency. At present, 20 modernised Ka-27M helicopters have already entered the Naval Aviation’s strength. It is planned that by 2020 the number of these machines will reach 30 units.

Their modernisation is being carried out by Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise JSC, a part of the Russian Helicopters Holding Company of the ROSTEC State Corporation. Ka- 27M helicopters are entering into service with all the Fleets of the Russian Navy.

In accordance with the technical requirements of the Naval High Command, these helicopters have been equipped with new on-board updated avionics and a new system for searching for and defeating submarines, as well as with radio-acoustic devices to significantly increase performing the assigned tasks.

The Ka-27M helicopters have high capabilities for searching, detecting, tracking and defeating submarines and surface ships. They are also capable to search for and rescue distressed aircraft, ships and vessels, as well as to carry out transport tasks on supporting ship forces.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 9-2-2018 at 01:16 AM


I hear they are about to upgrade their onboard processors with Windows 3.1...



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 27-2-2018 at 09:00 AM


Brazilian Navy boosts its helicopter force

Victor Barreira, Istanbul - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

26 February 2018

The Brazilian Navy’s helicopter fleet, operated mainly from São Pedro da Aldeia naval aviation base in state of Rio de Janeiro, is receiving a significant upgrade.

Squadron HU-2 is to receive the first of five Helibras H225Ms anti-surface warfare helicopters (designated the UH-15B Super Cougar locally) armed with MBDA Exocet AM39 Block 2 Mod 2 missiles in April; although this could be delayed to coincide with the RIDEX exhibition to be held 27-29 June in Rio de Janeiro.

The last AH-15B is to be delivered in August 2022.

Meanwhile, an initial two Leonardo Super Lynx (AH-11Bs locally) helicopters are bound for Squadron HA-1 by May and a third in August.

(134 of 233 words)
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[*] posted on 7-3-2018 at 07:31 PM


Modernized Lynx for the Flotille 34F

(Source: French Navy, issued March 05, 2018)

(Issued in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


A modernized Lynx belonging to Flotille 34F naval air squadron of the French Navy during a test flight after its aviation upgrade. The large white antenna added during the upgrade is visible on the port fuselage. (FR navy photo)

The Lynx upgrade program, initiated in 2011, was conducted between the various players in the military aeronautics industry: the Aeronautical Industrial Service, the Directorate-General of Armaments and the French Navy. It consists, in particular, of the modernization of the avionics and tactical components of the aircraft for anti-ship and surface warfare.

An aviation upgrade

Made necessary by the evolution of air traffic regulations decided by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), this upgrade includes changing the transponder, a radio to allow aviation VHF communications and the integration of a mapping GPS system.

For the moment limited to the aeronautical part, the operational commissioning of this modified Lynx was pronounced last July. Externally, the renovated Lynx is little different from its predecessor.

In the game of 7 differences, one can mainly note the appearance of a large white HF antenna along the left flank of the aircraft. This upgrade aims to extend the life of the Lynx until 2022, maintaining both a fluid integration in the civil air traffic, but also a high level of tactical performance.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 07:29 PM


Attempt to improve Cyclone helicopter caused problems related to sonar equipment

David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: March 5, 2018 | Last Updated: March 5, 2018

11:34 PM EST



Back in December the Canadian Press news agency had a story revealing a new series of problems affecting the RCAF’s new maritime helicopter, the CH-148 Cyclone, and its sonar system.
The article outlined how the sonar system used by some CH-148 Cyclones must be removed before the helicopters are allowed to land on ships.

The RCAF has provided additional information to Defence Watch about what caused the problems and what is being done about those issues:

What is the issue with the sonar equipment on the CH-148 Cyclones?

The HELRAS is a deployable sonar system onboard the CH148 Cyclone. The HELRAS internal reeling machine (used to recover the unit after it has been deployed) on the Block 1 CH-148 was modified (tilted slightly) to improve the hover characteristics of the aircraft while deploying the sonar into the water. The slight “tilt” of the reeling machine results in the sonar protruding slightly from the base of the helicopter once it has been recovered into the helicopter.

The protrusion from the base of the helicopter introduces a risk of the sonar striking the Cyclone – Recovery Assist Secure and Traverse (C-RAST) during a ship landing. Analyses have shown that, in theory, it is possible for the sonar submersible unit to contact the ship mounted assisted recovery system when operating in a high sea state condition. If contact occurred, it would not prevent the safe recovery of the helicopter but it could cause damage the submersible unit.

To prevent damage, the sonar submersible unit is not installed whenever the Block 1 configured Cyclones conduct shipborne operations. The Block 1 aircraft can fly from shore-based locations with the sonar installed.

This has had no impact on flying or training, as maintenance personnel can remove the sonar prior to conducting embarked operations.

How effective is the Cyclone as a maritime helicopter without its sonar system? Without its ship landing system?

Using its Sonobuoy Processing Sub-System (SPSS) to prosecute sub-surface targets by deploying sonobuoys into the water and processing their signals, the CH148 Cyclone is an effective ASW asset. The HELRAS is an additional system that can be used to prosecute sub-surface targets, but it is not the only means of conducting ASW operations. All of the other sensor systems on the CH148 can be used unrestricted (Radar, IR camera, etc.), making it an effective weapons system across the spectrum of operations.

Without the use of C-RAST, the CH148 is limited to a conservative ship motion envelope for takeoff and landing, and cannot be traversed into or out of the hangar. Again, CH148 maintenance personnel can remove the HELRAS system to conduct shipborne landings as required. Helicopter Air Detachments that embark with a Block 1 CH148 include the HELRAS as part of the equipment pack-up onboard ship. In the case of a requirement to use the HELRAS, the CH148 can be disembarked to a shore location where the sonar can be
installed and operations conducted from the land based airfield.

What’s being done to fix the issue?

In the Block 2 configuration, the sonar system has been re-positioned so that the submersible unit will be housed completely inside the fuselage when stowed. This redesign eliminates the possibility of contact between any part of the helicopter and the ship mounted assisted recovery system.

The first 6 Block 2 Cyclones are scheduled to be delivered to Canada by June 2018.

Block 1 Cyclones have already begun a phased return for induction into Sikorsky’s Block 2 production line. For example, of the fifteen Block 1 helicopters delivered, seven have been rotated back to the contractor for retrofit and delivery in the Block 2 configuration. All 28 aircraft will be retrofitted, and final delivery is expected to be completed by 2021.

In its final configuration, the CH-148 Cyclone will be capable of a full range of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue and utility missions in various environments, making it one of the most capable maritime helicopters in the world.

How much is it costing to fix the issue?

There is no additional cost to the Crown to rectify this issue.

What are the Block 1 Cyclones doing now?

The Cyclones currently in Shearwater are suitable for training and operations for a number of missions including Search and Rescue, utility transport, and surface and sub-surface surveillance, from both ashore, and while embarked on Royal Canadian Navy ships.
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[*] posted on 22-3-2018 at 09:26 AM


Germany studies market for Sea Lynx replacement

21 March, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Dominic Perry London

Germany is proceeding with a project to replace its navy's fleet of 22 Westland Sea Lynx anti-submarine warfare helicopters, but does not yet have a date for launching the procurement.

The fleet is set to retire in 2025, and in December last year the "functional requirements" for a replacement were approved by the German chief of defence, says the Bundeswehr.

Sustainment of the Sea Lynx fleet – which began to enter service from 1981 – is becoming an increasing challenge for the navy, with an average of only six aircraft deployable in 2017.

Germany's federal procurement office is now developing several proposals for a successor aircraft, the defence ministry says, and is carrying out a market survey. However, a request for proposals is not expected to be issued in 2018.


Bundeswehr

It offers no detail on manufacturers that may have expressed an interest in the emerging contest, nor the number of aircraft it will seek.

Contenders for the requirement are likely to the NH Industries NH90 – already selected by the navy to replace its elderly Sea King fleet – the Leonardo Helicopters AW159 Wildcat, and the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk.

Airbus Helicopters could also pitch the H160M, which is to be developed for France as part of a tri-service procurement.

However, with France delaying acquisition of the helicopters until later in the 2020s, it is doubtful the H160M would be available in the required timeframe.
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[*] posted on 22-3-2018 at 02:51 PM


If Germany was focused on delivering capability quickly and efficiently, the Seahawk would be an open and shut purchasing decision.

Unfortunately the Germans will buy NH90 to secure 'European jobs' and support the 'European Defence' solution, mostly to provide sound bites to left-leaning politicians, despite the fact that the 'solution' doesn't work.

Just ask the Netherlands Navy




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[*] posted on 17-4-2018 at 03:26 PM


German Sea Lion helicopter development gathers pace

16 April, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Dominic Perry London

This is, of course, a separate and distinct programme from the Sea Lynx replacement..........

NH Industries (NHI) is gearing up to begin qualification activities later this year for the naval-variant NH90 helicopters being procured by Germany under its Sea Lion programme.

Berlin is to acquire 18 NFH rotorcraft as replacements for its navy's 21-strong fleet of elderly Westland Sea Kings, used for search and rescue and transport missions, with deliveries of the first three examples to take place in late 2019.

Military certification trials will take place with the second flight-test aircraft, which performed its maiden sortie in November 2017.

Airbus Helicopters, which owns the largest stake in the NHI consortium, is responsible for the German procurement and will assemble the aircraft at its Donauwörth facility in the south of the country.

Silke Hirn, who heads up the Sea Lion programme at Airbus Helicopters, says the first two serial rotorcraft are now in final assembly at Donauwörth.

She describes the qualification schedule as "challenging" as the manufacturer strives to meet the programme's production and delivery deadlines.

An initial batch of three helicopters will be handed over in the fourth quarter of 2019, with deliveries to run at a pace of about one aircraft every two months from 2020.

Germany ordered the helicopters in 2015 and questions have been asked about the pace of development, given that the NH90 is a relatively mature programme and the Sea Lion is almost identical to the maritime variants already operated by France and the Netherlands.

However, Hirn disagrees: "Considering that this is the first qualification of the German naval variant, including the integration of German-specific communication and mission equipment, the qualification period for this configuration is not long," she says, noting that the application of the German defence ministry's acceptance procedures is also a contributing factor. Military certification is scheduled for mid-2019.


Airbus Helicopters

Germany will receive its NH90 NFHs in what is essentially a final operational configuration (FOC), missing out an interim initial operational configuration step, says Eberhard Schoell, head of the NH90 programme for NAHEMA.

Although some minor updates to the helicopters' transponders, based on new legal requirements, will be needed later, they "will not be missing any military capabilities" at service entry, he says.

No weapons integration on the platform is required as the Sea Lion will be armed with a pintle-mounted machine gun only.

In addition, because the German navy is not the launch customer for the helicopter, this should avoid most of the issues experienced by the country's army on its troop transport NH90 TTHs.

The army was the lead operator for the TTH variant and has experienced a raft of teething issues and low availability rates with its fleet.

A substantial number of those helicopters now require an extensive retrofit programme to bring them up to the FOC standard, with that process lasting up to two years per aircraft, he says.

Ensuring no repeat of the maturity problems at service entry for the Sea Lion fleet is vital, says Schoell, as the manufacturer eyes a looming German requirement for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters to replace its navy's Sea Lynx fleet.

"That is one of the reasons it is important to be on time with the Sea Lion and make it a success," says Schoell.

Very few changes would be required to modify the basic Sea Lion helicopter to make it suitable for the ASW role, as it is already pre-wired for the mission equipment, he adds.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2018 at 08:28 PM


Brazilian Navy to induct modernised and new helicopters

Victor Barreira, Lisbon - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

17 April 2018


An Airbus Helicopters H225M fitted with Exocet missiles performing a demo flight at the Helibras facility in Brazil on 25 October 2016. The first operational example will be delivered to the Brazilian Navy in June. Source: IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

The Brazilian Navy will receive its first Airbus Helicopters H225M Super Cougar (designated UH-15B in national service) anti-surface warfare-capable (ASuW) helicopter in June, the company’s Helibras subsidiary told Jane’s .

Its commissioning was planned for April, but was postponed until the RIDEX 2018 exhibition that takes place 27–29 June in Rio de Janeiro. Another four UH-15Bs will be delivered until August 2022.

Each helicopter can be armed with two MBDA Exocet AM39 Block 2 Mod 2 anti-shipping missiles. It also incorporate FLIR Systems’ Star SAFIRE III EO/IR payload, Atech TDMS tactical mission system, Telephonics APS-143C(V)3 radar, and an integrated defensive aids suite of Saab.

The Brazilian H-XBR programme includes 16 naval H225Ms, of which seven UH-15 utility and three UH-15A combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopters were previously received by Squadron HU-2 ‘Pegasus’ of São Pedro da Aldeia Naval Air Base (BAeNSPA). An eighth UH-15 will be received in April 2020.

Squadron HA-1 ‘Lince’ of BAeNSPA will receive first two modernised Super Lynx AH-11B helicopters in May and a third in September. Eight AH-11As are being upgraded by Leonardo as part of a 30 June 2014 contract worth EUR117 million (USD145 million). The final AH-11B will be delivered in December 2020. Modernisation includes installing LHTEC CTS800-4N, digital ‘glass’ cockpit, a tactical processing system of General Dynamics UK, Leonardo’s SAGE ESM system and a defensive aid suite controller, Thales Vicon XF countermeasures dispensers, and new electrically-driven hoist and internal and external lighting.

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[*] posted on 19-4-2018 at 07:56 PM


Leonardo Demonstrates its AW159 Helicopter to Malaysia's Armed Forces

(Source: Leonardo; issued April 17, 2018)


Leonardo, with the help of the British Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, organised several demonstrations of the AW159 Wildcat to the Malaysian forces for the DSA show, which Wildcat reached on the French Navy LHD Dixmude. (Leonardo photo)

ROME --- Leonardo, with the support of the UK’s 847 Naval Air Squadron, presented its AW159 Wildcat helicopter to Malaysia’s Armed Forces at Royal Malaysian Navy Base Lumut and Leonardo Helicopters’ facility at Subang Airport, near Kuala Lumpur last week.

The two AW159 Wildcats are part of the French Navy’s five-month amphibious deployment, Exercise Jeanne d’Arc, to the Middle East, Asia and South Pacific and are embarked on the helicopter assault ship FS Dixmude to provide a battlefield reconnaissance capability to the deployed forces.

The AW159 has a semi-rigid rotor head which gives it high agility and the same legendary ship operating capabilities of the Lynx helicopter. It is also fitted with composite rotor blades utilising the same technology that enabled the Lynx to break the world helicopter speed record. The AW159 is powered by a pair of LHTEC CTS800-4N engines, each providing up to 1,361 shp, which gives the aircraft exceptional performance, even in hot and high environments.

The AW159 has the most modern integrated cockpit of any naval helicopter, featuring four large area (10” x 8”) cockpit displays and a fully integrated avionics suite and mission system to provide increased mission capability and increased crew effectiveness.

The key sensors integrated into the AW159 include the Leonardo Seaspray 7000E series Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a dipping sonar system, electro-optical device and Leonardo electronic warfare systems. A range of weapons can be carried, including torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles, on its weapon carriers.

The UK’s Royal Navy and British Army operate 62 AW159 Wildcats in both naval and over land roles including ASuW, ASW, maritime surveillance and battlefield reconnaissance, while the Republic of Korea Navy operate eight AW159 helicopters in ASW and ASuW roles. The Philippine Navy has also ordered two AW159s that will be delivered next year. The Royal Malaysian Navy currently operates the Leonardo Super Lynx 300 helicopter in the Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) roles.

847 Naval Air Squadron is part of the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force based at Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton and operate the Army variant of the AW159 Wildcat. The British Army’s variant of the AW159 Wildcat is almost identical to the Royal Navy variant with the only major equipment differences being the Army aircraft do not have the Seaspray 7000E series AESA radar or weapon carriers.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 01:08 PM


Mexico cleared to buy Seahawk helicopters

By: Aaron Mehta   5 hours ago

Mexico plans to buy eight MH-60R Seahawks, produced by Sikorsky. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Arnesia McIntye)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has ok’d the potential sale of eight MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Mexico.
The potential sale, announced Thursday by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, has a potential pricetag of $1.2 billion.

DSCA announcements do not represent final sales; the Senate must sign off on the agreement, and then formal negotiations can begin, during which details often change.

In addition to the eight Sikorsky-made MH-60R platforms, the deal includes 20 T-700 GE 401 C engines, 16 APS-153(V) multi-mode radars, 30 AN/AVS-9 night vision devices and a collecting of other radios and sensors. The deal also covers a package of armaments, including a thousand AN/SSQ-36/53/62 Sonobuoys, 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) II rockets, 30 Mk -54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedoes, 12 M-240D machine guns and 12 GAU-21 machine guns.

“Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations. The sale of these aircraft to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its maritime capabilities,” the DSCA notification reads. “Mexico intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing naval and maritime support of national security requirements and in its efforts to combat criminal organizations.”

This is the second arms request for Mexico to be cleared by the State Department this year, following January’s request for almost $100 million in armaments.
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[*] posted on 27-4-2018 at 06:48 PM


Innovative Australian Technologies to be Tested on US Helicopter

(Source: Australian Department of Defense; issued April 26, 2018)

Defence scientists will use a retired US Navy Seahawk helicopter to develop fatigue testing technologies, which could transform how military helicopters are managed with the potential to reduce maintenance costs and improve aircraft availability.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the new technologies could have significant benefits for both military and civilian helicopter operators.

“In a world first, Defence scientists and engineers are developing a full-scale, structural fatigue test rig that can accurately replicate the loads and forces experienced by a helicopter in flight,” Minster Pyne said.

“While full-scale fatigue tests are routinely conducted for fixed-wing aircraft, the complex, high-frequency flight loading of helicopters has been particularly challenging to replicate in the laboratory.

“Instead, helicopters are certified using conservative test methods that do not always fully predict the possibility of fleet damage.”

Minister Pyne said Defence was investing $5 million over the next five years in this project and working in collaboration with industry and the US Navy.

“This very promising technology could not have happened without close collaboration between our Defence scientists and local industry,” he said.

“I thank the Australian companies for their involvement in the project, including Nova Systems, Jack Thompson Engineering, Fortburn and Advanced VTOL.

“The trial program, including the building of the innovative test rig and test demonstration, commenced late last year and will continue until 2022.

“The program aims not only to develop the capability to fully test and validate helicopter structures, but also to deliver innovations that may be applied to other areas such as the fatigue testing of fixed-wing aircraft.

“If successful, the technology could represent a considerable commercial opportunity for defence industry in Australia.”

The US Navy has supplied one of their aircraft for the research, and has expressed an interest in implementing full-scale fatigue testing of their entire fleet of Romeo Seahawk helicopters.

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[*] posted on 15-5-2018 at 09:09 PM


Delayed simulator hits German Navy Sea Lion preparations

Gareth Jennings, Nordholz, Germany - Jane's Navy International

15 May 2018


With the first of the German Navy's Sea Lion helicopters set to be delivered towards the end of 2019, the service is having to look at alternative training options due to a delay in procuring a new simulator for the platform. Source: Airbus Helicopters

The German Navy is having to adjust its plans to introduce the NH90-variant Sea Lion helicopter into service due to a delay in procuring a bespoke simulator system, a senior service official told reporters on 14 May.

Speaking at the home of German Naval Aviation at Naval Air Station (NAS) Nordholz, Commander Jan Keller of Naval Wing (MFG) 5 said the procurement process for a new simulator is ongoing, but that it will not be completed by the time that the first of the navy’s 18 currently contracted Sea Lion helicopters arrives at the type’s future main operating station next year.

“The simulator for the Sea Lion is in the process of being ordered, and though the ground is now being prepared it will not be ready for the delivery of the first three aircraft in October 2019,” Cdr Keller said, adding; “We would have liked the simulator beforehand, but we will [instead] be using German Army [NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH)] facilities and we are looking at options for using Italy’s [NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH)] simulator also.”

As noted by the commander, the Sea Lion simulator is being procured through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). With the requirement comprising infrastructure, a full-mission simulator (FMS), and a rear-cabin crew trainer, the bids from industry have all been received and the technical evaluations are in progress.

CAE, which already supplies all of the simulator hardware for the German Navy’s fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft and Westland Sea King and Westland Sea Lynx helicopters (the service’s Dornier Do-228 and Eurocopter EC135 platforms do not have simulators), has confirmed that it is one of a handful of companies understood to be competing for the Sea Lion requirement.

(312 of 1036 words)
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[*] posted on 15-5-2018 at 10:06 PM


I find it surprising that something to do with the NH-90 was delayed...



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 16-5-2018 at 08:57 AM


I'd find it surprising if something wasn't..................
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