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Monday, September 1, 2008

Program Updates

Attack- Iraq will spend as much as $2.4 billion to buy helicopters, related munitions and associated equipment and services. Bell Helicopter or Boeing would be the principal contractors. Iraq requested the possible sale of 24 Bell armed Model 407s or 24 Boeing AH-6s, 24 Rolls-Royce 250-C30 engines, and related munitions, equipment and services.

Attack — Lockheed Martin will lead the Apache Video from Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Interoperability Teaming-Level 2 (VUIT-2) program through September 2009 and transition it to production under a contract from the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. VUIT-2 receives streaming battlefield video and metadata from unmanned aircraft and displays it on AH-64D cockpit multi-purpose displays, enhancing situational awareness and dramatically reducing the sensor-to-shooter timeline, thus improving effectiveness against time-critical targets.

Medevac- The Australian Defence Force will not purchase a dedicated medical-evacuation helicopter that was to be used in Afghanistan. The decision was made despite the fact that wounded soldiers may not be receiving medical treatment as quickly as possible due to the lack of additional medevac air services. The ADF decided to continue to rely on coalition partners in that region for those services.

UAV- Italy will spend as much as $330 million to buy four MQ-9 UAVs, associated equipment and services. The principal contractors would be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc and Raytheon.

UAV- Boeing has agreed to acquire Insitu, Inc, the firm that developed and built the ScanEagle unmanned air system and with which it has teamed for the past six years, in an effort to secure a stronger position in the market for UAVs.

Utility- The first three Bell Helicopter-built UH-1Y utility helicopters have been certified as operationally capable and will be deployed in January. Six U.S. Marine Corps flight crews using three of the UH-1Ys have been training during the past year with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Sqdn 303 and are scheduled to deploy next year with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the assault ship USS Boxer. The Marines plan to buy 123 of the new model UH-1Ys by 2016 to replace 1970s-vintage UH-1N models.

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