Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Program Insider: Program Updates
Attack — State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd reports it has completed development of India’s first indigenously-developed light combat helicopter and plans to flight test it by year-end. The helo is aimed at giving a boost to the country’s fighting capabilities in the Himalayas.
Heavy-Lift — Boeing, Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded a $722.7-million CH-47 multiyear contract for five years, 109 each CH-47F new build aircraft, 72 each CH-47F remanufacture aircraft, priced options for 34 each CH-47F new build aircraft. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2013.
SAR — The U.S. Air Force expects to spend more than $1 billion to rebid the CSAR-X replacement helicopter contract that Boeing lost in November 2006 due to GAO decisions that upheld Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft protests. All three companies are vying for the new contract. The new fleet will replace the Air Force’s aging Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawks.
UAV — AeroVironment Inc received $4.6 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a small unmanned aircraft system capable of performing "hover/perch and stare" missions. The stealthy, persistent, perch and stare UAS is based on AeroVironment’s Wasp UAS, a 1-lb, 29-in wingspan, battery-powered air vehicle being procured and deployed by both the U.S. Air Force and Marines Corps.
Utility — Boeing and Bell Helicopter will build five more of the U.S. Air Force variant of the V-22 Osprey under a $359 million modification to its existing contract. That raises the number of CV-22s to be built under the $10.4 billion, multi-year contract to 31. Work on the new aircraft is to be completed by October 2014.
Utility — Bell Helicopter’s production of AH-1Zs for the U.S. Navy is facing a two-year slip in schedule. Operational testing has been postponed for a few reasons. First, the Pentagon is waiting for new target sight systems to be delivered. Second, there was a bore sight issue with the Thales’ Optimized Helmet Mounted Sight and Display system; new helmets were delivered. Third was an issue with the gun control software. Once the new TSS’ are delivered and the aircraft’s software deficiences are corrected, a new round of developmental and operational tests will be conducted at the Yuma Proving Ground