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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Program Updates

  • Attack — Canada is arming some of its Bell Helicopter CH-146 Griffon utility helicopters with machine guns, rockets, and infrared and optical sensors as escorts for transport helicopters in combat until it can acquire new gunships.

  • Attack — Eurocopter’s HAP Tiger performed 300 deck landings and 80 logistic operations during sea trials May 21-June 7 on the French navy amphibious landing dock Siroco and frigate Guépratte to evaluate its deck landing capability and define operations for helicopter tie-down, blade folding, and onboard handling.

  • Attack — India’s Light Combat Helicopter, in development by Hindustan Aeronautics, Ltd., is scheduled to make its first flight in October 2008.

  • Heavy Lift — Northrop Grumman has been selected to equip U.S. Marine Corps/Sikorsky CH-53Es with Directional Infrared Countermeasures system.

  • Transport — Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook has completed U.S. Army operational testing at Fort Campbell, Ky. and was scheduled to be fielded last month by the 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (Air Assault).

  • UAVs — Boeing on June 15 completed the first flight of the A160T, the turbine-powered version of its Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft.

  • UAVs — Honeywell’s Micro Air Vehicle has been deployed to Iraq. Its assignments reportedly include identifying improvised explosive devices from the sky.

  • UAVs — EADS reports its Sharc unmanned rotorcraft demonstrator completed its first flight June 14. The Sharc is coaxial-rotor 440-lb (200-kg)-class helicopter.

  • Utility — Colombia will buy 15 Sikorsky Aircraft UH-60L Black Hawks from the U.S. Army under a Foreign Military Sales transaction. The deal includes spares, support, and training and is valued at $225 million.

  • Utility — The U.S. Defense Dept. has approved full-rate production for the Sikorsky Aircraft UH-60M and the HH-60M Black Hawk.

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