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HN for Wed., April 12, 2017, Vol. 43, Issue 8.

Presidential Helicopter Replacement Will Take Maiden Flight This Summer

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The new VH-92 Presidential Helicopter that will replace two legacy fleets of “white top” VIP rotorcraft is scheduled to make its maiden flight this summer.Three years into the program, Sikorsky has delivered two engineering development aircraft and is ahead of its contractual schedule, according to Marine Col. Robert Pridgen, head of…

Pentagon OKs Initial Production of Marine Corps CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter

The Pentagon on April 4 gave the go-ahead for production of the Marine Corps’ new $27 billion CH-53K heavy lift helicopter.Following a review of the engineering and manufacturing development, the acting undersecretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L)) approved the Navy's request for the CH-53K King Stallion program to enter the production and…

DARPA, Aurora Finish Flight Tests Of Subscale VTOL X-Plane

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Aurora Flight Sciences, which are developing an unmanned, tilt-wing, vertical-takeoff-and-landing experimental airplane (VTOL X-Plane) called LightningStrike, have a achieved a significant milestone by completing flight tests of a subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD).The tests, which ended in early March at Webster Outlying Field in Southern Maryland, demonstrated the…

Marine Corps Awaiting Pentagon Green Light To Launch CH-53K Production

Already several days past its desired deadline for launching low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the CH-53K King Stallion, the Marine Corps says it and Sikorsky are simply waiting for the green light to begin building the heavy lift helicopters.A decision on whether to begin LRIP was scheduled for March 31, but as of April 3…

$3.4B Multi-Year Apache Contract Expedites Future Foreign Military Sales, Saves Army 10 Percent

A recent five-year, $3.4 billion multi-year contract for Boeing [BA] AH-64E Apache gunships not only saves the Army and Saudi Arabia money for each helicopter, but establishes a relatively swift onramp for additional allied armies to purchase the aircraft.The contract, announced March 16, has a base value of $3.4 billion. That base contract includes 244…

Army Awards Boeing $3.3 Billion Contract For Saudi Arabia Apaches

The Army on Wednesday awarded Boeing [BA] a $3.3 billion contract modification to provide Apache helicopters to Saudi Arabia, according to a Pentagon statement.The contract modification is a multi-year deal for lots 7-11, AH-64E full-rate production (FRP) of remanufactured aircraft and new build aircraft. It also includes remanufacture and new build Apache Longbow crew trainers,…

Navy Will Delay H-60 Service Life Extension Without Defense Budget

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Without a fiscal year 2017 budget in place, the Navy will delay a service life extension plan necessary to fly its Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopters into the 2040s when they are replaced by a next-generation vertical-lift platform.Plans are to begin a service-life assessment program for the MH-60S in the current fiscal…

U.S. Navy Awards Elbit Systems $50 Million Contract For MH-60S Helmet Display And Processor

The U.S. Navy awarded Elbit Systems [ESLT] a $50 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide helmet displays with a mission processor algorithm for the MH-60s, the company said Sunday.Elbit will specifically provide the Helmet Display and Tracker System (HDTS) with the Continuously Computed impact Point (CCIP) algorithm. The initial order of $14.2…