Author Archives: Dan Parsons

About Dan Parsons

Reporter: Ground Forces/Marine Corps Defense Daily Ph: 703-522-5917

A 1:10 scale model of the SB-1 Defiant at the 2018 ASUA annual conference. (Photo by Dan Parsons)

SB-1 Defiant Complete Except For Main Rotor Blades, Ground Runs to Begin in November

Installation of its eight 30-foot-long rigid rotor blades is all the SB-1 Defiant needs to be a complete compound helicopter scheduled for a first flight before the end of the year. “Defiant has been completely built, minus the rotor blades,” Rich Koucheravy, Sikorsky’s [LMT] future vertical lift director, said Oct. 8 at the Association of […]

Sikorsky S-97 Raider during its first flight in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Sikorsky S-97 Raider Prototype Meets, Beats 200 Knots in Level Flight

Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider light attack prototype has exceeded 200 knots in level forward flight and is expected to continue ramping up to at least 220 knots, a speed unachievable in a traditional helicopter. Experimental Test Pilot Bill Fell said the Raider, which features dual coaxial rigid main rotors for lift and an aft propulsor, is […]


Army Launches Prototype Competition For Future Light Attack Aircraft

The Army has officially kicked off a competition for industry to design its next light scout aircraft, called the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, or FARA. Details of the program were published Oct. 3 in a solicitation on the government’s contracting website. The Army lays out a four-phase competitive prototyping effort that should yield operational, experimental […]

The V-280 Valor prototype on the flight line at Bell's Amarillo, Texas, manufacturing facility. (Photo by Dan Parsons)

Bell Developing Future Light Scout Aircraft For U.S. Army

While flight testing the Black Hawk-sized V-280 advanced tiltrotor, Bell [TXT] also has developed a smaller aircraft in anticipation of the U.S. Army’s need for a light scout aircraft, according to CEO Mitch Snyder. While the Army initially prioritized a medium-sized long-range assault aircraft in the size range of a Black Hawk, earlier this year […]

MD530G Scout Attack Helicopter

Lebanon Orders 6 MD530G Attack Choppers in $1B+ Contract With U.S. Army

MD Helicopters continues to rack up orders for the MD530 with the purchase of six G-model attack helicopters by Lebanon under a $1.4 billion ongoing contract the company has with the U.S. government. It is the third delivery order in the past 12 months for MD under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract. The IDIQ contract estimates […]

A CH-47F Chinook assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation, Photo: New York Army National Guard.

Second Experimental Block II Chinook Enters Assembly Ahead of Schedule

Boeing [BA] has loaded the second of three Ch-47F Block II aircraft into final assembly, and soon will have all three experimental performance-enhanced Chinooks being built up to achieve first flight next year. Both the first two aircraft entered assembly ahead of schedule and Boeing has been able to modestly speed up building the prototypes […]

F-35Bs belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps fly in formation alongside South Korean and Japanese aircraft during a show-of-force mission over the Korean Peninsula on Aug. 28. (Photo by Republic of Korea Air Force)

Lockheed Martin Lowers F-35A Price Tag Below $90 Million

Lockheed Martin [LMT] and the Defense Department have agreed on a new $11.5 billion contract that drops the price of an F-35A below $90 million for the first time. The new contract, which covers 141 F-35s and will go into effect in 2019 with low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 11, represents an average price reduction of 9.2 percent across the joint […]

BF-17, Major Richard "BC" Rusnok & BF-18, LtCol Jon "Miles" Ohma

Harris Will Supply F-35’s New Core Processor

The Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35 will run on a Harris [HRS]-built integrated core processor (ICP) beginning in 2023, the two companies said on Thursday. The new ICP serves as the “brains” of the advanced fighter and promises 25 times the processing power at one-fourth the cost, according to Harris. Built with an open-systems architecture, the […]


Bell Moving to Scale Up Autonomous Delivery Drones for U.S. Military

Bell [TXT] is developing the scalability and flight control software of its Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) family of vehicles to meet U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army requirements, Todd Worden, the Bell senior manager of global military business development and advanced tiltrotor systems, said in an interview at Modern Day Marine this week […]

Boeing will provide its MH-139 helicopter and related support to the U.S. Air Force to replace the fleet of UH-1N “Huey” helicopters used to protect America’s intercontinental ballistic missile bases. (Photo: Fred Troilo, Boeing)

Price, Niche Mission Keys to Boeing-Leonardo Win For UH-1N Replacement

At last week’s U.S. Air Force Association conference at National Harbor, Maryland, the eyes of Boeing [BA] officials had a knowing glint when they discussed the Boeing-Leonardo bid of the MH-139 to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of Bell UH-1N Hueys. Industry observers had predicted that a variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk would […]